Raiders: Top 3 players who could be cap casualties this offseason

Raiders (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Raiders (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

3. Gabe Jackson, OG

The Raiders offensive line has taken a big step forward this season after a tumultuous 2018 campaign. The signings of Trent Brown and Richie Incognito have been key reasons for this as has the continued dominance of Rodney Hudson and a big second-year leap from Kolton Miller.

But as much as many fans may not want to admit it, the weak-link this season has been Gabe Jackson.

Jackson missed the first six weeks of the season while dealing with a sprained MCL suffered in the preseason and in the eight games since he’s been back, he just hasn’t looked the same.

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The longest-tenured Raider has struggled both in pass protection and in run blocking as evidenced by a lowly 61.7 Pro Football Focus grade. That figure would be the lowest single-season grade of his career if it were to hold up.

Jackson still has another three years remaining on his contract but this offseason is the first that the Raiders could cut him and walk away with zero dead money. Releasing him would save just shy of $10 million in cap space that could likely be better allocated elsewhere.

Perhaps that means the team opts to roll with a younger, internal option such as Andre James or perhaps they look to free agency of the draft for a replacement. But it’s hard to argue that Jackson is worth his near $10 million cap hit over the next three years.

Some will argue that he’s playing injured and that an offseason of rest could do wonders. But he’ll also be 29-years-old next year and isn’t getting any younger.

If the Raiders are going to upgrade at other positions, it might come at the expense of cutting a long-time fan favorite ahead of the move to Las Vegas.

And that’s just the sad reality of the situation.